How to: Build chatbots

Chatbots are often treated as the future of media and communication. Ok, not the sole one. But at least as a very important component. And indeed, if you look around the net a little, you quickly realize how much such bots have become standard.

So chatbots become their own storytelling format? You can argue about that, the result is naturally open. That they are a very useful thing for certain topics and situations, however, is undisputed.

That chatbots have not yet become a mass phenomenon has to do with it: they are supposedly difficult to create. This is a fallacy: With “InterviewJS” even non-coders can create comparatively elaborate chatbots without having written a single line of code. And, above all, without having invested a single Euro.

What do you need?

First and foremost: An idea for a dialogue that could be of interest to users. So you do not just have to script a conversation completely. But you should also anticipate what a conversation might take. That sounds easy, but it is not. Few of us are trained in such a format.

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Is there an approach for that? Certainly not the one that applies to all. My personal one is: First of all I write down the information that should be transported via the chatbot (this is what it’s all about at the end: conveying information). If I have defined this information, then I already know the “answers”. Only the right questions are missing. The whole thing is a bit like the quiz “Jeopardy”: You have to find the right question to answer, not the other way around.

So that this really is a “chat”, so you pretty soon always need two or three questions that can ask the user. But that also means: After a relatively short time you have several “storylines” that you have to pursue. How far that leads, you have to know yourself, there are no rules. Potentially, these chats go almost to infinity. Which of course would be pointless, the user wants to then but relatively quickly an answer to his questions; a solution to his problem.

Sounds complicated, right? It is, at least a little. And of course unfamiliar. As a rule, copywriters are used to it (that’s what my first editor-in-chief told me) answer, In addition, the matter is also made even more difficult, because you have to think a bit in the head of the user. So what question would he ask at this point?

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The good news: as complex as it sounds – so comparatively easy to implement such a chat technically. In the first step, you create a new project. There you define the “chat participants”. Of course, that can be more than one. But always remember: The more participants and levels such a chat gets, the harder it will be to implement.

The rest is almost self-explanatory: you literally put the words in your mouth to each chat participant he should say. In addition, you can supplement that with everything the network has to offer: links, videos, audios. But remember: The user is in an “entertainment mode”, he wants to “chat”, even if he knows that at the other end, no one sits. Your phrasing and the length of your answers should be based on this idea of ​​a chat. Simple trick to check yourself: read through your answers and then ask yourself if you would actually answer in a chat like that. If not, rewrite the answer.

The project is stored in the cloud. On your side you can integrate it with an embedding code.

More on the subject: What makes the success of chatbots

What does this cost?

Nothing, InterviewJS is a completely free tool.

Jakubetz recommends

I’m generally reserved on chatbots. There were (and are) people who seriously believed that they were an essential new form of journalism and communication. Personally, I do not believe much in letting complex, hard topics be told that way. But as a service and background tool? Good story. With InterviewJS you can try out great and risk-free, whether your own users jump on chatbots. If so, you can still perfect that. For the first step, the tool but completely enough.

More on the subject: Digital Employees: Integrate bots into your teams!

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